Picture, if you will, 29 drunks and junkies on a hospital bus (The Druggy Buggy), swathed in subtle red safety lighting on a 35 minute drive through the wine country to an AA meeting in Napa singing every drinking song known to man.
The back row, made up of (they selected their own names), Emmanuel (booze, drug, sex and rage), J.R. (beer, beer, beer), Stephan (Jersey boy addicted to alcohol and weed) and Sweet Mike (booze after he lost his son in the Iraq) screaming "99 bottles of beer on the wall" while Izzy (crack, heroin, coke, speed, meth, etc.) danced down the aisle, clapping her hands and trying not to fall as we speed down the highway.
Sitting next to my number one rehab gay, Ansel, I turned around to take in this image and thought to myself, "Shit, my Flip Video camera is at the office." Ansel was having none of it, screaming "Shut the fuck up!" to the ceiling as he cries went unheard (or ignored.) Christmas songs, a Neil Diamond Tribute, TV theme songs; they sang the whole way there, rarely making it through a song with all of the lyrics in tact.
Sadly, they didn't let that stop them.
"Bethy Baby!" Emmanuel screamed. "Request something!"
I pulled my iPod earplugs out, spun around and yelled down the aisle, "Sweet Caroline, motherfuckers." I think they made it through one verse before switching to "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Frosty the Snowman" which may have evolved into "Bethy the Snowbitch." I stopped listening.
Ansel threatened to take a $60 cab ride back from the meeting, but I wouldn't let him. I wasn't suffering through another 35 minutes of that shit alone. I should also point out that the Napa meeting is the AA meeting with "Hot guy." Stephanie and I made the mistake of expressing to Johnny that we found "Hot guy" hot. So upon his entrance, Johnny and his fucking Texas drawl turn around and yelled, "Hey Beth. Your boy's here!"
I wish I could report that love blossomed over the Oreos and non-dairy creamer. It did not.
By the time we got to "The drunks on the bus go slosh, slosh, slosh" I was ready to make a run for it. Alas, I can't. Why? Because I'm Senior Peer!
Once a week, the staff selects a "senior peer" to lead meetings, show the rookies around and bring complaints to the staff. C'est moi. My mother's having bumper stickers made.
"My child is Senior Peer at Rehab."
I wonder if I can put this on my resume...